This post is for the role-players out there, but my Lindy Hopper people will know exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s about saying No. And surviving No. And the life-skill that is No.
No, Thank You
In the dance world, we tell the new kids that anyone can ask anyone to dance. And just as importantly, we tell them that it’s okay to say no to any dance from any person at any time. You don’t have to dance if you don’t want to. And you never have to explain yourself. You can always just say ‘No Thank You.’
Now there’s a little more to it, and dancers are always discussing the social nuances of how to be polite and respectful when turning someone down for a dance. There are many situations and scenarios that require some extra thought to do it right and save face in a community important to you. It’s not starkly simple, but it isn’t as complicated as we make it sometimes.
In dancing, our basic interaction is agreeing to dance with each other. And in role-playing, our basic interaction is soliciting and inviting others to join our plots.
I want role-players everywhere to know: you can say no. And it’s okay.
No doesn’t need to be a judgement or personal, or be loaded with anything other than a little no.
If someone sends you a private message inviting you to a thread they want to start or a plot idea they have going, and for whatever reason you don’t want to write in it (or can’t) you can just say “No, thank you.” Maybe you want to provide some explanation – go for it! But make sure it’s true. Even when you’re saying no, you should be polite and respectful.
Politeness does not require a friendly role-player to accept all offers or acquiesce to all requests. After all the person most responsible for you having fun at any given role-playing site is you! If you can’t say no, who else will?
Know the No
It’s easy to say no, and even be polite about it to leave both writers feeling encouraged.
- Say thank you! Thank them for asking, for thinking of you. Acknowledge they thought you’d be fun to write with and thank them.
- Say no thank you. Be clear that you’re not interested and won’t be joining them.
- Explain why. (Optional!) You are not obligated to reveal why because you are not obligated to write with everyone who asks you.
- Initiate another opportunity. (Optional!) Maybe you’re busy now, but want to write when you have more time – say so! Maybe the plot just doesn’t interest you, so suggest something else for another time and place. Suggest something for your other characters. Be as vague or as clear if as you wish. The point is, this step can help alleviate the sting of no and reassure the other person that it’s not forever no, but just no for now.
Okay, So Someone Just Told You No
It’s okay. Don’t sweat it. Move on! I know it’s disappointing. You were looking forward to it, it sounded really fun, you had such great plans! I know you did! But you are master of the universe and your imagination is a thrilling machine. You’ll come up with something new and it will also be awesome.
That’s the thing. No can suck, but it’ll just suck worse if you attempt to dissect it or take it personally. In the end, we want to role-play with people who want to role-play with us. And to attempt to convince, pressure or guilt someone into writing with you isn’t going to be a thread you want to be a part of. Chin up and carry on!
Tagged with: Absit Omen • Role-playing